From Tempe to Indianapolis, Anderson University alum Zach Jones has been pursuing his career in athletic training. For the past two years he has been living out his dream as an athletic trainer for various sports teams. Now, Jones is back at AU to help out in the athletic department and pass on some of the knowledge he has learned in the field.
Jones, a 2007 AU graduate, played baseball all through college. During his junior and senior years, he interned for the Indianapolis Indians, a Triple A team. After graduation, Jones continued to follow his passion for sports by looking for jobs in the athletic field. During his search he came across a job with DePauw University. While at DePauw, Jones had the opportunity to be an assistant athletic trainer over many different sports including men’s and women’s tennis and swimming, women’s volleyball and basketball and also baseball. Jones knew he could do more with his degree, so after a year at the university he began looking for other ways to further his career.
After speaking with Steve Risinger, head athletic trainer at AU, Jones found an opportunity for a job with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, located in Tempe, Ariz. He interviewed for the job in spring of 2008 and was hired for a part-time position. Jones was later added as a full-time athletic trainer. His job requires him to help with training to prevent injuries and assist physical therapy athletes after surgery. As a requirement of the job, he must also send daily updates of the athletes’ conditions to the general manager and the major league athletic trainer.
Jones has learned a lot since being out in the real world for a few years. One of the most important things he’s learned has been how to work as a team, even when you aren’t an athlete anymore. “It’s important to allow people to help you…lean on others instead of always trying to do everything on your own,” said Jones. He’s also learned that a little positive energy can go a long way. “People will feed off of your positive thinking, even when they may be in a bad mood…it helps you stand out as an individual.”
Jones was invited back this fall to his alma mater to continue helping others. During the transition from fall sports to winter sports, there is a need for extra athletic trainers. Jones was asked to assist and potentially give some advice to students looking forward to a future in this profession. He was on campus for two months during the fall season and two months during the spring season. After spring season, Jones knew he needed to find another job. He found just what he was looking for working as an athletic trainer for the San Diego Padres. Jones is the athletic trainer for their rookie team, which plays in the Arizona League. After signing a 12-month, full-time contract, he looks forward to working with the Padres for a long time.
“I love working in professional baseball and I couldn't imagine doing anything else. I look forward to working with players to keep them healthy and helping to contribute to the success of the Padres organization,” said Jones. “Being an athletic training student and playing baseball at AU definitely helped me get to where I am today.”
- Missi Martin is a junior from Elkhart, Ind., majoring in communication arts. Martin is an associate with Fifth Street Communications, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the sixth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.